[olpc-nz] Helping our new testers

Tabitha Roder tabitha at tabitha.net.nz
Fri Oct 8 03:27:26 EDT 2010

On 8 October 2010 12:52, Tim McNamara <mcnamara.tim at gmail.com> wrote:

> [warning: a few themes are being mixed together here!]
> I think it is great to have these conversations that help us see how we can
develop our community in a positive way and make sure we do a good job of
supporting new comers as well as keeping motivated as a whole.

 The basic test template is here: <http://goog_2040564556>
>> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Activity_testing_template#The_NZ_activity_test<http://goog_2040564556>
>> <http://goog_2040564556>
This template is really only relevant for new XO builds. It's also somewhat
unnecessary - OLPC tends to do its own regression testing between builds.
Now that there are paid QA staff at OLPC again, our group will probably find
most of its requests are supporting Sugar Labs.

The reason I suggest starting here for those interested in joining as
testers (not as translators or other roles) is because you quickly get a
feel for the environment, how things might work and what support information
there is.
The reality is that we also do find things missed by the QA team - this is
true in other FOSS initiatives (I reported some new bugs for Moodle 2.0 this
week and I am not in the testing team and only briefly played with Moodle
I think we can improve the next steps though for testers, and Sugar Labs are
definitely in more need of our help. Sugar 0.90 is screaming for testing (so
if you can test that this week, please do).

I would like to offer more structure, so that our more experienced testers
> have a way to semi-formally induct newer people into the group. How we
> introduce new people into the group is fairly poor.

I consider us to be a "community" rather than a group because I like the
openness suggested by community, whereas groups usually are closed. Part of
introducing people to a community is about how you identify your own role,
and this might be what is missing, personal clarity in how you contribute to
the wider community.

I think a well-written introduction to testing and to our group would be
> really beneficial.

I agree a written introduction to participating in our community would help
those who are not able to come face to face or would like to read up before
coming face to face, but for those that can come face to face then a
personalised introduction is more appropriate.

Weekly test plans mean that there's an incentive for people to turn up
because they know they are achieving goals that are required. I don't like
this dialogue:
  A: what should we do today?
  B: just find bugs.
  A: oh...

Okay, so we go back to me mailing out a list of what is happening in olpc
and Sugar Labs land every week and you guys pick something. However, I do
think that experienced volunteers should be picking things that they are
interested in based on their own reading of what is happening on the mailing
lists. It would be great to see some of the experienced volunteers taking up
the bigger challenges of maintaining activities, doing development work, or
going to a deployment.

In all honesty, I feel that the Wellington group is dying.
... No one is taking leadership really. I'm somewhat reluctant to take too
much charge. I'm quite opinionated and don't want to come across as pushy.
However, I do try to make suggestions to the mailing list. But it's fairly
rare to get much engagement from others.

I am sorry that this is how you are feeling and really hope that coming into
the nicer weather it gets better. I can lead everyone but I prefer they take
their own initiative and do things that engage and motivate them, not me.
There are some really exciting things happening in the wider community and
we are seeing some opportunities to further get involved. If anyone is
interested in going to a deployment, there are several opportunities open

> I was writing out a list of things to test on Thursday and posting it to
> the list
That's what the wiki page is. I don't think a single person should be
burdened with this level of administration. If it's part of the overall
wiki, then developers will be able to add things themselves.

Given that motivation and lack of leadership seems to be an issue currently
for Wellington, consider what will help with these issues. If they are not
the issue, then work out what is. The advantage of email over wiki page is
that it is delivered to you every week rather than you going to check.
Developers are not likely to add things to our wiki page but do regularly
ask for testing feedback on the mailing lists. This week try Sugar 0.90 as
this is a big test request.

Signing off the longest post every written.

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